Seychelles pleads with Israel and Palestine to halt further hostilities and give peace a chance
The death toll in Gaza has reached 296 people, including 71 children, and 2,200 wounded. One Israeli soldier has died. The cycle of violence of the last half century has continued. In the last two weeks Hamas has fired an estimated 1500 rockets on Israel. Pictured: Bloody child's shoe after rocket fired from Gaza hit Israel in May 2008 (Edi Israel, Wikipedia) Photo license: CC BY-SA 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles condemned the escalation of the 10-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Friday, saying the fighting was undermining all peace efforts.
“We deplore the loss of human life, and we call for an immediate cessation in the hostility, which undermines any meaningful dialogue to reach a comprehensive peace settlement.” A communiqué issued to SNA from the Maison Queau de Quinssy the headquarters of the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads in part.
Ever since the conflict in Gaza started last week Palestinian officials say that nearly 300 Palestinians have been killed and another 2200 injured. Early on Friday morning prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israel Defence Force (IDF) to carry out a major ground offensive against Hamas tunnels which cross under the Gaza-Israel border.
According to the IDF these tunnels have been used to carry out attacks in Israel and since July 8 Hamas militants have fired more than 1500 rockets.
A statement released by the IDF late Thursday indicated that the cessation of hostilities was far from over and a large IDF force composed of tanks, infantry, field intelligence, artillery and combat engineers supported by Israeli Navy and Air Force was to begin an assault of Gaza.
An Egyptian brokered truce to allow for supply of relief aid and ease the worsening humanitarian crisis collapsed on Tuesday after the Hamas military wing rejected the deal leading to a fresh round of fighting.
The World Food Programme (WFP) says that it is providing some 20,000 displaced people with people with food vouchers and rations and has sent out an urgent appeal for $20 million so that it can address the needs of some 600,000 vulnerable people.
Four Palestinian boys were killed on a beach in Gaza city as fresh assaults began. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for restraint saying there can be “no military solution” to the conflict.
The extent of the human suffering has seen world leaders calling for restraint but this has not been heeded. Both Palestine and Israel have ambassadors accredited to Victoria.
“Seychelles further and calls on all parties to desist from renewing further attacks. Seychelles is in strong support of a meaningful two-state solution based on the borders defined in 1967 as per numerous UN resolutions on the matter,” the ministry’s communiqué adds.
“Historically Seychelles has good diplomatic relations with both the State of Palestine and with the State of Israel. Seychelles supported Palestine’s non-member observer status, when this was tabled to the UN General assembly in 2012.”